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Effectiveness of Rimantadine Prophylaxis of Children Within Families

Richard D. Clover, MD; Steven A. Crawford, MD; Troy D. Abell, PhD, MPH; Christian N. Ramsey Jr, MD; W. Paul Glezen, MD; Robert B. Couch, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(7):706-709. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140210104036.
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• With recent studies suggesting that children are the main introducers of influenza infections into families, we conducted a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial to study the prophylactic effectiveness of rimantadine hydrochloride in children on the transmission of influenza A infections within families. One hundred forty-five volunteers from 35 families completed this study during a naturally occurring outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) infection. Influenza infections, defined as a positive viral throat culture or a fourfold increase in antibody titer, occurred in 31.7% of children in the placebo group and 2.9% of children in the rimantadine group. Clinical illness with laboratory evidence of influenza infection occurred in 17.0% of children in the placebo group and 0% of children in the rimantadine group. Rimantadine was well tolerated by the children, with no significant difference in reported side effects between the placebo and rimantadine groups. Influenza A infection occurred in 19.0% of adults whose children were receiving a placebo and 8.8% of adults whose children were receiving rimantadine. On the basis of our study, rimantadine prophylaxis of children appears to be an effective method to prevent influenza A infection in children. Additional studies are needed to demonstrate the effects of rimantadine prophylaxis of children on the incidence of influenza A infection in their parents.

(AJDC 1986;140:706-709)


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